Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Day 22 of Lent 2020

John 13:5

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Ray 2020Today is Day 22 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I pray that you have been keeping up with the reading – I know I have been and it has been a blessing. If you haven’t been keeping up – try to catch up! Tomorrow is a free day. Read back and catch up. I appreciate this walk to the cross and I think you would as well.

I love this passage. It reminds me that our Lord was humble and that as followers of Christ – we are to be humble as well. We should never feel that anything is beneath us. We should walk in the steps of our Lord and be willing to serve others – no matter what our position in the Body of Christ. I love this reminder and I hope you do as well.

How are we serving others during this pandemic? How are we reaching out to others and making sure they are OK? Don’t miss out on our connection time on ZOOM. See you email – First Church folks – for the link. We will also post it on Facebook for those who would like to join us. Continue reading

March 21, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 21 of Lent 2020

Mark 14:18

While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me — one who is eating with me.”

Ray 2020Today is Day 21 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope we are enjoying and keeping up with the 40 Day reading plan. I am appreciating them myself as we walk to the cross. I also hope and pray that you are well and surviving this pandemic we are facing.

Today’s reading is about the Passover lamb – Jesus Christ – our Lord and Savior. The verse I picked out for this day is the one that talks about the one – Judas – who would betray Him that night. Whenever I read this verse I think – in what ways have I betrayed Jesus? In what ways has the church betrayed Him? Can we take a moment and think of ways we have betrayed Jesus?

Our walk with Christ is often compromised by our sinful choices. We need – daily even – to focus on Jesus and not on self or the world around us. How are we doing with that? During this isolated time – we could really spend more time focused on Jesus. Continue reading

March 20, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 19 of Lent 2020

Matthew 25:31-33

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Ray 2020Today is Day 19 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you are enjoying and keeping up with the 40 Day reading plan. I am appreciating them myself as we walk to the cross. They are a blessing to write and a blessing to re-read each day. Keep up and leave comments if you have any questions or thoughts.

Today’s reading is a very familiar one – the separation of the sheep and the goats at the end of time. “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Every nation – every person – will be gathered – before the throne of God. God will divide them – like a shepherd divides sheep and goats. Here is a simple question – which are we? Are we disciples of Jesus Christ or not? Don’t pull punches and try to fool anyone. Sincerely answer the question! Do we truly follow Jesus – or are we merely playing the game? Continue reading

March 18, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 16 of Lent 2020

Matthew 24:36

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Ray 2020Today is day 16 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan (remember – of the 40 days of Lent – Sundays do not count). I hope you are enjoying the 40 Day reading plan – I know I am. Keep up with the stories about Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross. Draw closer to Him and let us deepen our faith walk. Constantly ask yourself (as I ask myself) – how can I be more like Jesus. To use past slogans – WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?

Today’s reading starts with a passage that Harold Camping should have familiarized himself with before making Rapture predictions several years ago. “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Having said that – we don’t want to live without the urgency of living in the last days. I wonder how many people lived differently the spring of his prediction – just in case Harold had it correct? How many of us – if we thought Jesus was going to return very soon – would walk differently? I feel like we should live that way all the time – because we do not know the day or the hour of His return. Just something to think about today! Continue reading

March 14, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 13 of Lent 2020

Mark 12:42

But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Ray 2020Today is day 13 of the 40 Days of Lent reading plan. I hope you are enjoying the 40 Day reading plan – I know I am. Keep up with the stories about Jesus’ life as He walked to the cross. These Biblical stories are a great way to walk through Lent.

Today’s reading reminds us that it isn’t how much we give to the Lord’s work – but rather the heart with which we give it. The widow gave her all – the rich – they gave from their abundance. How do we give? Do we give our tithe and think we are doing so well – when a sacrificial gift might be 15 or 20%? Are we giving sacrificially to God or are we giving from our abundance? Let us search our heart today and be honest with ourselves. Do we give our all to Jesus or only from what we think we can spare?

Here’s a good question. How do we determine what to give? Do we give our full offering to the church we attend or do we give to other charities? Do we under the difference between a tithe and an offering? We talk about taking up our tithes and offerings on Sunday morning. Do we know what that means? Continue reading

March 11, 2020 Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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